The BBC recently reported on a research study which suggested that by giving the hormone progesterone to women who have miscarried or who are experiencing bleeding early on in their pregnancy, may improve their chances of having a baby.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, focused on a group of approximately 4,000 women who had all experienced bleeding in early pregnancy. Of that group, half were given progesterone while the other half were given a placebo pill. Although the study showed that not all of the women could benefit from taking the hormone, they did note that the women who were more positively impacted by the study had histories of multiple miscarriages. Among those women, there was a 15 percent increase in the live birth rate.
Study leader and consultant gynecologist at Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital, Arri Coomarasamy, is hopeful that this study will contribute to how medical professionals treat women at risk for miscarriage, and that their findings could save thousands of babies’ lives. However, he did note that currently for women who are miscarrying “there is nothing we can offer them,” as there is not a catch-all solution for miscarriage as it can occur to a variety of complex reasons.
The trial is so significant because progesterone is a hormone essential for early pregnancy. It helps maintain the lining of the womb where the baby implants. One woman who took part in the trial took progesterone pessaries twice a day until she was 16-weeks pregnant. She said the bleeding stopped within a week of starting the trial. She had previously experienced spotting during her first pregnancy and later miscarried.
How Fertility Awareness-Based Methods Give Woman an Edge
At Natural Womanhood, we have written in the past about how low progesterone levels can impact pregnancy and contribute to miscarriage. Through charting and appointments with a FertilityCare Practitioner, Natural Womanhood writer, Liz Escoffery, was diagnosed with low progesterone or luteal phase deficiency. She had hoped to become pregnant right away, however, she was encouraged to wait until her progesterone levels had increased. She received bioidentical progesterone through 36 weeks of pregnancy in different forms including oral medication, vaginal suppositories, and intramuscular injections.
“Once I internalized and accepted this information, I began to make positive steps toward improving my health,” Escoffery writes. “‘Hustle while you wait’ became my mantra and I began taking bioidentical progesterone orally, using my chart to help me know when to take it following ovulation each cycle.”
It is so important for studies like this to become common knowledge in the medical community, and for this information to be offered to women, especially those wishing to be pregnant who have experienced the heartbreak of a miscarriage. It’s also important that women be educated about Fertility Awareness-Based Methods and on how to track their cycle because it can help make women aware of a barrier to fertility or another help problem that they didn’t know about. By tracking your cycle, you can get to know your body, and as a result, take more control of your body and life. Tracking is not just for planning or avoiding pregnancy; it can also help you identify abnormalities in the cycle phases. After all, as Escoffery wrote: “The woman’s body is at its best when her hormones are in balance, and this leads to healthier cycles and healthier pregnancies.”